The Importance of Environmental Education
The greatest challenge we face today is that of the changing environment we live in. Studies indicate that if we don't do something about it now it will be too late. We will begin losing species at an unprecedented rate, oceans will warm causing acidification and destroying coral reefs, while extreme weather will destroy terrestrial ecosystems. While these facts are certainly startling, just talking about them with children will cause them to take actions of conservation.
Conservation will come with the next generation as they begin to form emotional bonds with nature. These bonds are formed by experiencing and learning about our natural world at a young age. It will be these children, who know and love the world they live in, who will care enough to make a difference.
"In the end we will only conserve what we love. We will only love what we understand. We will only understand what we are taught."
- Baba Dioum
Here in Vancouver Island's Provincial Parks, RLC Park Services www.rlcparks.ca - your park facility operator, strives to foster that important connection with nature in our local schoolchildren. Our school programs immerse your class in some of the most amazing natural environments on Vancouver Island.
The hosts of the programs, your Naturalists, are Interpretation Canada trained, friendly, fun and experts in the environmental sciences. Our programs are designed to spark curiosity and excitement about nature in classes of all ages through experiential hands-on learning. Not only are our programs fun (and often funny!) but they also deliver those important environmental messages needed to create environmental awareness in children.
In the development of our programs we have also taken into consideration your needs as a teacher: all of our programs link to the BC School Curriculum, so that you can cover several prescribed learning outcomes during your field trip! Be sure to click on the "PLO's covered" links next to our program listings to see where it fits in with your curriculum.
We believe it is important for all schools, regardless of socioeconomic status, to have these experiences with nature. Though both schools and environmental interpretation have taken massive budget cuts in the recent past, we are working hard to keep environmental education alive. For the past twelve years, fundraising efforts and partnerships have made it possible for all schools to attend salmon run programs, eagle programs and some spring programs at no cost. These fundrasing efforts also include the donations that you make when you participate in a free program as well as the user fees for other programs. Thank you for helping to support us! Click here for more information on donations.
Where do the Proceeds Go?
All proceeds from user-pay school programs go directly back towards environmental education in our parks. Fees for programs are determined by taking into consideration not only cost coverage on our end, but your field trip budget. We strive to make it possible for every school group regardless of socio-economic status to connect with nature. Some of the important environmental education causes that your proceeds go towards include:
- Guardianship of the estuary;
- Development of new environmental education programs;
- Free family nature programs in the summer;
- New Nature House exhibits;
- Providing free salmon and eagle programs at Goldstream for all classes to have a chance to connect with nature.
Did you enjoy your program at one of our parks? We place immense importance on the quality of program delivered and the satisfaction of teachers who have experienced them. Please let us know if you enjoyed your program by filling out the feedback form below!